As I started my composing process I always cut off all the lights in my dorm room and leave my desk light on. I always do this when I am writing papers or doing other homework. For me this is the only way my papers or homework is going to have my full attention. I grabbed my computer from my backpack and sat up comfortably in my chair to pull up Microsoft Word. As I waited for Microsoft Word to slowly load, I decided to grab my phone to look at Instagram Snapchat, and I even went to grab something to eat. After that I decided to keep my phone by me instead of putting it back on charger across my room. As I began to start brainstorming it did not surprise me when I receive a text message notification causing me to stop what I was doing to check my phone. After texting my friends back and looking on Instagram and Snapchat, I began to start processing all of my ideas aloud so my computer webcam can catch everything. As I was writing I realized if I did not stop so frequently to answer phone calls, reply back to text messages, and take snack breaks I could have gotten a lot more accomplished in a timely matter. Normally when I am writing a paper I can not be focused like I would plan to be, so by taking a break I can get back focused on my paper. After gathering all of my data, the patterns of my writing were not hard to see. I soon began to code my findings and I was shocked that most of that time I spent planning and editing than revising.
Also, during my findings I have found different patterns and techniques that had a huge impact on my writing that is helpful but also harmful. While writing I would always pause to gather my thoughts and information, but during the time I would take a pause in the middle of my paper and I would do a lot of editing. Sometimes when I edit I realized at the end that certain part did not need to be changed so I would go back and change it again. This would also take up most of my time which I would explain in my findings. Also, I realized something that seems to happen every time I write and that is my hands shaking. By my hands shaking that has a big effect on me because I am very self-conscious with my writing. I also noticed with my hands shaking that is one of the reasons I am so hard on myself about planning and editing my writing so much.
During this process I broke it down into percentages to see which way I was going with the data a little better. As I was converting my data I came to realize I took 34% of my time just to plan what I am going to talk about in my paper. I spend a lot of time planning because I have a very hard time trying to come up with something I would want to write about so I just write or type down a few ideas until I feel like I found one I feel best with. Similar to Tony from Perl article “Tony spent a great deal of his composing time editing” (Perl 754). I found that during my process I spent 40.3% of my time editing, which is most of my time. Also during this time, I would send a copy of my essay to my friends to help me with my editing, which would lead me to call and text them multiple times. One reason why I edit a lot is because once I reread what I have wrote and see the things that do not make sense or sounds like I am writing at an elementary school English level I start to change some things around to my liking to make it sound better. Also during this time, I go through my paper to search for words that might sound like elementary words so that I can change them to something better. I also realized I spent 20.4% of my time making unnecessary comments and 5.1% of my time revising. Almost like what Tony did to his paper “However most of the time was spent proofreading rather than changing, rephrasing, adding, or evaluating the substantive parts of the discourse” (Perl 754). Although I spent very little time reviewing my paper which was basic skimming, I could have taken more time to look for small errors misspelled words, repeated words, and watching for sentence fragments.
As I was going through this process of studying my writing I have learned so many things that I did not realize I did or know about my writing. I discovered things that could help me in the long run and also, I seen things that have been definitely holding me back throughout these years from me writing different papers. For example, the amount of time I spent planning, editing, and also trying to become more organized. Before I start to write I will start to formulate an outline so my paper can be more organized, sometimes when I used to write a lot of times my feedback would be my paper is not organized. Writing this paper helped me know what changes I should be making for the future in my papers. Everyone has a different writing process but you will not have a clear understanding of it until you observe it yourself. After this paper I see where my attention needs to be pointed and that is to the section I pay the least attention to, which is revising (5.1%). Throughout the paper there was small errors that could have been prevented if I spent more of my time and energy to make sure the percent in this error was higher than the rest. This is almost what Alcir Santos Neto said about his paper, “The unexpected data acquired by this study helped me transform my writing process into a healthier one” (Neto 784). After I gathered all of my information I made a code.
Writing Process WP| Symbol SL| Meaning M|
Planning P| Organizing Ideas O| Writing W|
Talking and writing at once TW| Editing E|
Commenting C| Adding, deleting, and concerns of errors R
Considering or changing spelling Esp| Periods of silence s|
Pauses P| Reviewing the paper correcting mistakes RP| Writer stops for breaks B|